PPL continues to sink Abbott credibility

By Leith van Onselen

It’s an Abbott bashfest today but, sheesh, he’s got it coming. Here is the latest blunder from yesterday:

“So, in conclusion let me say, we will deliver a fair dinkum paid parental leave scheme. What tweaks might possibly occur will depend very much on the course of discussions with the Senate early in the new year. Likewise, everything else. They all know what we are trying to achieve. Everyone knows where this Government’s heart is. Everyone knows what this Government’s fundamental commitments are. Our heart is with a fair dinkum paid parental leave scheme. Our heart is with a country that can look its kids and grandkids in the eye and say, ‘We are not leaving you with unsustainable debt; we are not going to practice intergenerational theft to sustain our own spending'”

Despite facing opposition from nearly everyone – the media, the opposition parties, economists and policy experts, and even colleagues within the Coalition – for being inequitable and a waste of scarce taxpayer dollars, Abbott continues to forge on with “a fair dinkum paid parental leave scheme”.

In the process, the Prime Minister is blowing a large and ongoing hole in the Budget, undermining the Government’s message of “ending the age of entitlement” , as well as needing to trim expenditure to overcome the so-called “Budget emergency”.

It is both poor policy and politics – something Abbott’s mentor, John Howard, would never have done.

The Prime Minister’s claim that “we are not leaving you with unsustainable debt; we are not going to practice intergenerational theft to sustain our own spending” is even more delusional. How exactly does jacking-up younger Australian’s university debts, cutting access to unemployment benefits for six months for under-30s, and opening the sluice gates to 457 visas when youth labour underutilsation is running at 30%, improve inter-generational equity?

The Prime Minister’s claims are all the more galling given the Budget left untouched the massive concessions on superannuation, negative gearing, and capital gains taxes, which overwhelmingly benefit the older generations at the expense of the young, including by increasing the tax burden on ordinary workers, as well as raising younger Australian’s housing costs (and mortgage debts).

Tony Abbott is either delusional or being deliberately obtuse as he attempts a big electoral bribe to solve his “women problem”.

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Unconventional Economist
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    • Abbott has done a Rudd – having been granted almost unlimited power, he’s painted himself into a corner. As a result of his own errors, he now needs his ministers more than they need him. It can’t be long before power is taken from his maladroit hands.

      He will be Rudded before long.

  1. To stand up and say we have made a few blunders, then end by saying they are still pushing ahead with the paid parental scheme, made him look like an idiot.

    maybe he is….just an idiot

  2. Very entertaining.

    It is all starting to make sense – the ALP really are the only party who still supports the failing neo-liberal model.

    Thus why Albo claims the China-FTA as a left wing win, Penny wants to sell the farm and Husic reckons stopping a foreign buyout is racist.

    The LNP are clearly ahead of the game and are now engaged in a playful, conversation between economic modalities in an effort to engage with the notion of difference.

    No wonder they have problems with narrative.

    • Yep….ALP are getting countless shots on an open goal but still can’t put it in the back of the net.

      Jokers to the left of me….jokers to the right…..

    • Pfh007
      December 2, 2014 at 8:14 am

      Very entertaining.

      It is all starting to make sense – the ALP really are the only party who still supports the failing neo-liberal model.

      This idea is vastly over-done.

      Not that it matters. “Neo-liberalism”, such as it was, will certainly be replaced by post-liberalism – by a humanist economics.

  3. This “we’re not leaving you with unsustainable debt”, this doesn’t include the 2 trillion or so of private housing debt? Seriously?

    Does he think he’s talking to the local kindergarden?

    Maybe he is?

    • Nobody from the MSM picks him up on it @aj so yes, I think he is.

      Don’t forget the Feds picks up 30c in every $ of bank profit as tax revenue – pumping the Ponzi is in their DNA

  4. How can this disingenuous pr*ck seriously say this with a straight face….

    “Our heart is with a country that can look its kids and grandkids in the eye and say, ‘We are not leaving you with unsustainable debt; we are not going to practice intergenerational theft to sustain our own spending’”

    FFS here’s how you can stop intergenerational theft One Term Tony……

    Repeal your proposals to enslave a generation with high student debts

    Enact policies to significantly improve housing affordability, say to 4x household earnings

    Eliminate the generous tax benefits enriching the boomer generation – Super, CGT and negative gearing

    Remove the generous pension entitlements for the asset and rich superannuants

    Align Australia’s environmental policies with other more progressive nations.

    That’s what you can do to eliminate Intergenerational Theft!!!!!!

    • In breaking news tattoo parlours, brothels and car salesmen are looking to form political party in protest of being grouped with RE Agents!

    • Amongst all the drivel over the years, 3d has got one insight right.

      “vested interests are the economy”

      He knows, because he is one. The days of any ‘best interest of society’ decisions have long past.

      The world is still reasonably predictable, just predictable in a different way.

      • “vested interests are the economy”

        It has been observed as “Alliance Capitalism” i.e. the club plays by alliance rules and its social Darwinism for everyone else.

        Skippy… once this is acknowledged, most the economic theorizing since post WWII is shown, to be, the shambolic hypothetical wankery that it is.

    • Seriously REINSW? We are trying to start a political party addressing housing affordability as no politician cares. REINSW will not address these issues either. We don’t have their numbers or media contacts so are struggling to get 500 names to register as a party. We are open to policy suggestions so please help us and sign up. Like our Facebook page & help us spread the word. Visit http://affordable-housing-party.org

  5. @UE +1 to all your comments. Looking someone in the eye, even his own flesh & blood, whilst telling mistruths (at best) says so much about him.

  6. Oh I don’t know about that he has an Economics Degree from Oxford Uni & is a Rhodes Scholar.

    So listen up peeps.


    He did say “Heart” didn’t he ???

    • The pinup boy from Oz must be doing wonders for the quality & credibility of these qualifications! LOL

    • This is how he justifies the increase in university fees. He realises his own degrees are utterly worthless and can’t see the point spending money on others getting the same. Or would that be crediting the fool with far too much self awareness?

      Although, I don’t know why people keep trotting out the Rhodes Scholar thing. He’s clearly a dunce holding a bit of gifted parchment.

    • “Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) is a popular interdisciplinary undergraduate/post-graduate degree which combines study from the three disciplines. The first institution to offer degrees in PPE was the University of Oxford and this particular course has produced a significant number of notable graduates such as David Cameron, the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Ed Miliband, the current Leader of the Opposition, and Tony Abbott, the current Prime Minister of Australia,.[1] In the 1980s, the University of York went on to establish its own PPE degree based upon the Oxford model; the University of Warwick, the University of Manchester, and other British universities later followed. According to the BBC, it “dominate[s] public life” (in the UK).[2] It is now offered at several other leading colleges and universities around the world.”

      Skip…. one could consider it a sort of grooming…



      PPE was established at the University of Oxford in the 1920s,[3] as a modern alternative to Classics (known as Greats at Oxford) because it was thought that a course in Philosophy and Ancient History was no longer relevant for those entering the civil service. It was thus initially known as Modern Greats.[2][4] Christopher Stray has pointed to the course as one reason for the gradual decline of the study of classics, as classicists in political life began to be edged out by those who had studied the Modern Greats.[5]

      Dario Castiglione and Iain Hampsher-Monk have described the course as being fundamental to the development of political thought in the UK, since it established a connection between politics and philosophy. Previously at Oxford, and for some time subsequently at Cambridge, politics had been taught only as a branch of modern history.[6]
      Course material

      The programme is rooted in the view that to understand social phenomena one must approach them from several complementary disciplinary directions and analytical frameworks. In this regard, the study of philosophy is considered important because it both equips students with meta-tools such as the ability to reason rigorously and logically, and facilitates ethical reflection. The study of politics is considered necessary because it acquaints students with the institutions that govern society and help solve collective action problems. Finally, studying economics is seen as vital in the modern world because political decisions often concern economic matters, and government decisions are often influenced by economic events. The vast majority of students at Oxford drop one of the three subjects for the second and third years of their course. Oxford now has more than 600 undergraduates studying the subject, admitting over 200 each year.[7]
      Academic opinions

      Oxford PPE graduate Nick Cohen and former tutor Iain McLean consider the course’s breadth important to its appeal, especially “because British society values generalists over specialists”.

      Geoffrey Evans an Oxford fellow in politics and a senior tutor critiques that the Oxford course’s success and consequent over-demand is a self-perpetuating feature of those in front of and behind the scenes in national administration, in stating “all in all, it’s how the class system works”. In the current economic system he bemoans the unavoidable inequalities besetting admissions and thereby enviable recruitment prospects of successful graduates. The argument itself intended as a paternalistic ethical reflection on how governments and peoples can perpetuate social stratification.[2]”

      Skippy… for profit assembly line education bears fruits…. of a sort…


    When a true genius appears in this world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.

    Jonathan Swift, Thoughts on Various Subjects

    So, with a little artistic license,we invert to edify,amuse and entertain our thoughtful PM.

    When a true dunce appears in this world, you may know him by this sign, that the genuises are all in confederacy against him.

    Note: There is no surer way to spot deceit than when a speaker refers to the ‘heart’.

    I can solemnly say, with my hand on my heart….

    Those are some pretty big swings on the polygraph needle!

  8. Hopefully his polling will drop to the point that the Libs beg Malcolm to blade the Wingnut.

    This would be the best outcome for the Libs and the country.

    I just can’t bring myself to vote Labor.

  9. I am beginning to think Laurie Oakes was spot on with his assessment of the 2010 election as a contest between two political pygmies.

    Gillard showed that she could manage a team and govern, but was unable to connect with the electorate. And even when they got clear air to govern and show competence they would find a way to drop the ball.

    Abbott’s term is going no better. Unlike Howard, Abbott has not done enough to claim the middle ground, and there are a few too many political tin ears in his Cabinet for comfort. When the Government star turn is the Foreign Minister and not PM or Treasurer, you know things are not good. Looks like Hockey is going to get another chance at the politics of a budget emergency – the Senate stopped his only chance to trim sails and he has a real budget emergency on his hands now. He would do well to look at the way Keating and Costello budgets balanced pain and reform across the community, and get the politics of the next budget right. Admittedly those two Treasurers had an easier Senate to negotiate than the current lot.

    • Keating and Costello were also both genuinely intelligent and politically astute. Hockey is neither of those things, and Abbott doesn’t seem to be any sharper. These guys are going down like a sack of spuds.

      Unfortunately, Labor is equally woeful and sure as sh*t haven’t earned the right to be back in government. It is turning into the perfect storm of political meets economic catastrophe. Not in the last three decades has the nation needed strong leadership more than it does now. Yet we have the worst offerings from both parties seen in that time.

      Disaster looms large.

      • interested party

        The problems are to large now to be fixed. Each change of party will set in motion the re-election of the other party now……as the problems are beyond fixing….and we as a society are too FKN greedy to accept a lower standard of living that comes with the end of growth so we squabble like chooks over a grub blaming this politician and that politician and refuse to look in the mirror.

        “Disaster looms large.”……….you got that right.

      • I thought Greg Combet would have made a reasonable leader, but he got out when he saw how awful the internal politicking in the ALP was.

        Shorten is low wattage, but maybe that’s what we need, a low wattage, do-the-job, non-charismatic leader.

  10. ” Everyone knows what this Government’s fundamental commitments are.”

    I didn’t know what they were at any point before the election and I still don’t know what they are now.

    I’d say that his use of language is even worse than Rudd’s.

    • I didn’t know what they were at any point before the election and I still don’t know what they are now.

      Same as they have been for the last decade:

      Punish the poor and weak, demonise asylum seekers and the unemployed, increase the wealth and power of the privileged, privatise public assets, reduce access to education healthcare and exploit the environment.

  11. The idea that all working women can enjoy benefits gifted to females in the Public Service is a worthy one.

    Despite some whispers that it in effect will cost the taxpayer nothing (but will cost corporates) it appears a step too far for the current national mindset. Fair enough.

    Highly paid female employees at the ABC or Department of Education can take parental leave for six months on full salary as can their more modestly remunerated sisters at Centrelink. Taxpayers are happy to fund this…

    Of course, in light of the newly minted equity applicable to working mums parental leave entitlements, new public sector appointments will confirm to the national narrative – no six month PPL. Equity baby!

    • Firstly, any “levy” for PPL will be offsey with a corporate tax cut so it will cost the tax payer.

      This is the biggest farce of a misrepresentation that no one in the MSM seems to want to point out.

      Secondly, the government has chosen to offer certain perks (not just PPL). The private sector, equally, chooses what perks to include or not. Why intervene in the job market?

      • “The private sector, equally, chooses what perks to include or not. Why intervene in the job market?”

        Because small government that’s why.

    • Don’t try to make this a story of public v private sector, that’s a deception. Many extra benefits exists in the public sector, this just one of them. OTOH like for like private sector pay is generally higher (and if it’s not, then that is a different problem to address).

      Rather the story here is about a pig-headed and short-sighted leader who can’t see that his face-saving policy (to save his face with women) is entirely inappropriate to the situation his party and country find themselves in, as well as being ethically questionable (on account of not being sufficiently means-tested). It is this gross misjudgement which mark the man as foolish. Yes it would have looked bad had he canned it, but he should suck this up as it’s a) his only chance and b) serves him right for not thinking it through in the first place.

      Although the dysfunctional politic is not entirely his fault, he has failed spectacularly to manage it, and has also grossly misjudged the mood of the public. This is politics 101 and he’s been found wanting.

    • Yes 3d… this is all about equality rather than Abbott’s ‘women problem’…

      Whatever helps you sleep at night.

    • General Disarray

      These benefits are not really gifted to females in the public service – they are part of the package. They generally are on lower wages than similar private sector employees but have better benefits and higher job security.

  12. interested party

    Where are we in the very big picture?????

    Consider this…..

    The five stages of collapse are….
    Financial collapse then Commercial collapse, Political collapse, Social collapse, and finally Cultural collapse………..according to Dmitry Orlov.

    The first two have been underway since 08/09 and have been masked by endless printing and neg rates. We are living through the early stages of political collapse….and all the crap that goes with that. If you doubt that, then think this through. There is not one political player here in Australia who can sort out this mess ( or globally for that matter ). You can drag any politician from history and you will come up empty. The troubles are structural….and will only be cured by dismantling the structure and rebuilding it fresh. This process is now under way and may take a generation or more. Nothing you can do or say will change the outcome…….policy tweaks can only change the timing but the destination is very clear. The players embedded in the system ( rent seekers, ticket clippers, free loaders ) will push and lobby for survival….unwittingly hastening the outcome due to the parasitical nature of their existence. The players who look to grow wealth ( invest for your future types….which is most of us ) will play their part also……by distorting sectors of the economy which also hastens the outcome ; lobby groups and those vested interests who are earning a living from that sector will push for protection which creates more distortions. In the meantime, we look to the politicians to ‘fix’ the problems…….and truth be known…….we are the problem, by thundering through an investment sector ( that is a problem in itself….requiring growth to exist ), creating distortions, killing off viable industries, and harming the very communities we live in. Every extra dollar you chase is another step toward your demise…..but you just don’t know it. This could be called ‘circling the drain’ I suppose…..and things are speeding up.

    We are one weird species.
    Our lives revolve around a false concept of worth and reason, and a sick sense that we are entitled to more……always more…….never enough. And yet we blame the politicians. Don’t take this as support for the buggers…..I can’t stand them.

    Modern human existence is the antithesis of ‘sustainability’. Change you ways, or have them changed for you.

    rant over.

  13. Today’s Newspoll has Labor ahead of the Coalition 55:45. This is landslide territory, and comes after the G20, which was supposed to be Abbott’s moment of triumph (but which triumph was so exquisitely skewered by Obama).

    Of course you can say it’s just one mid term poll, there’s plenty of time to come back etc. But as Andrew Robb said on Sunday when asked about Dennis Napthine, the coalition in Victoria was behind in the polls for a long time, and once the polls lock in, they stay locked in.

    • This comes on big swings back to the LNP. The truth is the politicians cannot provide what people want. The voters are searching but they will never find.

      They want equality, but they don’t want it for themselves;
      They want to be cared for, but they don’t want to care for others;
      They don’t want to pay rents but they want to receive them.
      They want wonderful things to consume but they don’t want to work for them.

      Once i wondered whether the voters were rocking from side to side to sink the duopoly ship, now i actually think they just don’t understand why the politicians won’t give them their impossible dreams.

      • interested party

        Yep….see my rant above.

        That is why RE/ investing in general is such a sacred cow. Money for nothing on retirement…. Stuff everyone else. I will vote for you IF you protect MY interests……..

        We have a massive rent seeking superiority complex, hidden by the wisps of ‘modern life’ and technological brilliance.

  14. In the IT world we call these stuff up ID ten T errors.

    It displays quite nicely as ID10T.

    “Have you turned it off and on”

  15. When a politician uses ockerisms, you know bullish*t is soon to follow.

    The most honest I saw Howard was on lateline , when red Kerry asked if specific government incomings would be spent on some specific thing. Howard’s response was ‘Come on Kerry, you know that question makes no sense. Money is fungible’. Could you imagine an Oz pollie saying that to Daryn Hiviz? Nope, it’s ockerisms and bullish*t all the way, and the public love it. I’m pretty sure Howard only said it because he knew almost no one was watching.

    Australians have got the politicians they collectively deserve.

  16. i think he’s doing a good job, but making the right and hard decisions is never going to be a vote winner. expect some more good policy for the next year, and then back to vote buying to keep the Greens/Labour criminials at bay. There will be a second term for sure!

    • “making the right and hard decisions”

      Ah hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
      (deep breath)

      “more good policy”

      oh mercy

  17. That’s a bogus, self-servingly narrow conception of inter-generational equity (i.e. government debt/taxpayers). There is so much deliberate de facto tax-collection/wealth re-distribution via central bank inflation of asset markets, and so much tax minimisation by those with greater capacity to do so. Never has a generation become so rich so fast, and I don’t see the government looking to claw back any of that unearned wealth. Abbott is truly an intellectual light-weight. The worst possible prime minster for our times.


    Ye knoo Mr Abbott, I’m a tracin’ of me Mick ancestors, and we know how we feel reciprocally and your heritage and all that, and your harkin’ back to the knights and dames most nearly causes me to spit the Guinness, but your stumbling and plodding suggest you took too many L/R combos while in the ring. You need to get this checked, and soon, man.

    Gettin’ to it:
    Out here in the ‘heartland’ we’re strugglin’ with your lack of sincerity and I’d have to say, by all the pauses ye puts in your speech, you’re strugglin’ too.

    Either quit trying to fool us with your dancing around or get some advice from someone ye trust. Ah know the Anglican Church offers no confession (which has helped me see the truth in complex situation) but as a God fearing man, you need to see that your compass needle is spinning badly.

    The bench outside Mary the Redeemer Church is a grand place to sort things out.

    Ye can be sure that not everyone will be agreeing with what you think is best but you need to focus on the things that will define you and your legacy—just like the knights of old; some remain cherished and revered and some, well, get a ‘whisky’ toast on their grave that’s been drunk first.

    Ye won’t go wrong by puttin’ the people first Mr Abbott and telling the miserable snots where to go and you still have time before ye walk the plank.

    As a great, great, grandson of county Mayo, I’ll be prayin for ya to turn your heart.

    May those who love us, love us. And for those that don’t, may God turn their hearts. And if he can’t turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles, so we know them by their limping.

  19. “deliberately obtuse’ seems an choice for anyone to make, and even odder as Tone is a Rhodes scholar, but on the evidence he is the thickest, most obdurate, and obtuse recipient of that award.

  20. Yes, I think Paid Parental Leave will hit that vessel called Tony Abbott right in the middle where it’s the most vulnerable.